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Cooling Issues Continue at Crescent Halls as Tenants Grow Impatient

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One apartment was reported to be as hot at 80 degrees. One apartment was reported to be as hot at 80 degrees.
Resident and president of the Crescent Halls Tenant Association, Deborah Booker. Resident and president of the Crescent Halls Tenant Association, Deborah Booker.
As many as 15 apartments have been affected. As many as 15 apartments have been affected.
Executive director of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Grant Duffield. Executive director of the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, Grant Duffield.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

People living in public housing apartments in Charlottesville say they are still suffering from cooling issues, and the housing authority says it can’t fix what it doesn’t know is broken.

Residents of Crescent Halls have had issues with staying cool for years. In July of 2017, a new $130,000 chiller system was installed to combat the problem, but complaints have risen again over recent weeks.

On July 4, NBC29 reported the complaints raised by residents. At that time, roughly 15 apartments were reported to be without cool air, while one apartment in the complex reached as high as 80 degrees. Since then, affected people say nothing has changed and are still having issues with their air conditioning.

“I haven’t really seen any changes,” said resident and president of the Crescent Halls Tenant Association Deborah Booker. “I’m still having the same people come to me who were on that list of apartment number that I gave them and nothing has been done.”

The Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority says it can’t fix what it doesn’t know is broken. Residents say they are fed up and demanding change from what has become an annual problem.

The Tenants Association president says the only change she saw were notices that were placed under the door from the Public Housing Association of Residents asking people to report maintenance issues. Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority said they don’t have any outstanding work orders that have been called in.

“I do know that there are some who have concerns,” said CRHA executive director Grant Duffield. “There is apparently a list of apartments where there are issues, but no one has brought anything to the housing authority.”

According to Booker roughly 10 to 15 units are affected by defective units. 

“We have some leaking, some that just aren’t blowing cold air, some just aren’t blowing,” Booker said. “There’s a lot of issues.”

According to residents, some also feel threatened to speak up.

“A lot of people here will speak up, but over the years they have been threatened with eviction if they come to the media or if they go to any kind of agencies,” said community activist Mary Carey.

Duffield said that if those claims are true, he wants people to let him know or reach out for legal aid so it can be handled.

“Nobody should be subjected to that kind of behavior,” Duffield said. “I want to know about it and I want to fix it.”